Annual Report 2019

Treasures report

The Group has run at a surplus of £12,161 this year, with funds available increasing to £38,617 from

£26,457. Thanks to everyone who has completed a gift aid form, as ever this is an important source

of funds for the group and raised £6,712 in this year. Didsbury festival raised around £1,600 for the

group, a great result!

We’ve been in our current location for over 40 years and the hut is in need of refurbishment. Now

we have agreement from the council for a new lease and certainty about our location we can start

work on improving access to the hut and updating the toilets and kitchen area – watch this space!

The 2018 - 2019 accounts will be audited over the summer.

Matthew Rushton
Group Treasurer


Chair / GSL’s report

Last year we reported the situation with the Lease for our HQ, unfortunately this is still ongoing although the good news is the council have agreed to renew it for another 40 years, their latest draft though, still showed the site plan being that of pre 1995 i.e. no Garage or main hall extension.  We are hoping this will be resolved soon.

We have agreed a plan to extend the Kitchen into part of the existing toilets and convert the office back into an accessibility toilet and to extend the kitchen loft into the stores making it part of the stores. It is hoped this work can start soon.

We still need more leaders, in all sections now, as although some sections on paper look to have a good number they are all not able to turn up every week due to their work commitments often leaving the section with the minimum leader operating ratio which is not desirable.

Despite our leader issues the following number of badges have been gained this year;
Beavers 365 badges of which 12 were Bronze Chief Scout’s Awards (CSA).
Cubs 284 badges of which 13 were Silver CSA.
Scouts 110 badges.
Explorers 76 badges of which 2 were Platinum CSA and 4 Explorer belts (our first ever).

The scout garden is still going strong, getting lots of positive feedback and comments from passers by. It maintained it’s Silver Gilt award from the RHS as part of the Britain in Bloom last year although the team thought   it should have been a gold. A big thank you, to Helen and Rosemary for all their time and commitment in keeping it to such a high standard.

Many thanks, to all leaders and supporters, well done.

Keith Hampson                                                                        Chris Pearse
Group scout Leader                                                                 Chair


Beaver report

The beaver waiting list was reopened in October 2018 but we still have 20 on the list to come in over the next year. Both beaver colonies remain at their capacity of 24 per night. Since last year we have lost  a number of leaders - Andrea into cubs, Karin and James were unable to continue and this summer Dodo will be leaving to go to university. Claire, Alastair and Anna are able to come most Tuesdays but Drew due to work commitment can’t always be with us. On a Wednesday, Harshad, Annabelle, Dodo and Rowan (when work allows) assist. We have been running a parent rota and this will be continuing unless we gain more leaders.

We continue to provide a varied programme for the beavers so that there will always be something to interest them. We have had science experiments, junk modeling nights, health and fitness nights, first response night to gain their level 1 in this badge, disability awareness evenings and an overnight visit to Catalyst museum.  We try to make sure that the beavers gain their bronze chief scout award but this is not always possible as there are quite a number of badges to be earned before it can be awarded. The bronze chief scout award is the highest award in beavers and to gain it the beavers have to gain all 6 challenge badges and 4 activity badges.

My thanks go to all my leaders for all their support and effort so that we can run a fun filled programme for the children. It takes commitment to give time for preparing and attending each evening and this is all voluntary as there are no paid leaders at a local level in scouting.

Helen Hampson
Assistant Group Scout Leader for Beavers

Cub report

Packs at a Glance

Monday Celts 30 Cubs, 2 Leaders, 3 Young Leaders
Badge Awards, 112 of which 6 are Silver Scout Awards
Thursday Saxons 23 Cubs 2 Leader, 2 Young Leaders
Badge Awards 172 of which 7 are Silver Scout Awards

A year in Cubs Scouts
Over the past year we’ve had a very successful Pirate Camp at Bowley, where we did raft building, blind man trails, wide games, shelter building and much more.
We also held a Sixer and Seconders Camp where we learnt some pioneering skills, backwoods cooking, fire lighting and some wide games.

Christmas saw us hold our Christmas Sleepover, which involved some fun games, making Christmas cookies and watching a Movie with some popcorn and snacks.
Many of the cubs took part in the District Hike around Quarry Bank Mill in March.

8 of our Cubs entered the Annual Pike View Hike Competition and the weather was awful, to the point that many groups gave up, but Didsbury persevered as the teams met the various challenges of the competition, with Thursday Saxons coming in 19th and Monday night Celts coming in a respectable 8th Place.

In May we took our Cubs to the beautiful National Trust Park at Alderley Edge where, hard hats and torches at the ready, they took to the Copper mines with the our friends at the Derbyshire Cave rescue team. They wiggled on their bellies, squeezed through tiny gaps and listened to ghost stories deep in the mines and in the process raised over £100 for a Children’s Cancer Charity

The Cubs have been hard at work in the local community digging, weeding, shifting and shovelling at the Poppy Project. Many thanks to Tom Wescott who has given us this opportunity to be part of such a fantastic project.

At the end of May we joined up with the Scouts and 1600 other young people from across Manchester to celebrate the 24th World Jamboree; with mixed weather it was a fantastic weekend of highs, lows, tears, laughs, and some great activities.

The Cub leaders would just like to say a big thank you to all the parents and supporters who help us run two very busy and successful packs.

Claire Lydon (Celts, Monday cubs)

Rolando Johnston (Saxons, Thursday cubs)

Scout report

Griffin Troop (Tuesday)

Another successful year of scouting with a number of activities both at the scout hut and further afield. We have a regular attendance around 18 every week and we currently have 4 regular leaders.

We will continue again this year developing our leaders so that we increase our skills across all leaders. We have just had a successful camp where we attending a county event jointly with the cubs and the scouts.

We have a number of residential events in the upcoming year and we hope to have a good attendance across the age range of the troop.

I would like to extend my thanks to Ben, Daryl and Peter along with all of the other leaders in Pheonix troop and other sections who help to support us through the year.

Brian Cosgrove
Scout Leader


Phoenix Troop (Wednesday)
It’s been a great year for Phoenix Scouts, saying hello to lots of new faces and seeing our older scouts move on to Explorers.

Each term we focus on one or two challenge badges, so scouts who attend every week (and come on camps) have a good chance of achieving their Chief Scouts Gold award. This term we’re very close to completing the World and Creative Challenge awards.

A real highlight of 2018 was our summer camp at Consall in Staffordshire with Griffin troop. The scouts got a chance to go caving at Giant’s Hole in Derbyshire, build natural shelters and sleep in them for several nights and play laser quest among the trees. The dry summer meant fires were a no go, but it’s amazing what you can do with a red LED and some coloured paper.

Phoenix troop also attended the Join In Jamboree with Griffin troop and the two cub packs a fortnight ago. Though we’re unable to put on a week long summer camp this year, Simon is looking into some possibilities for one or two shorter adventures in 2019. Details to follow.

Simon Jermy
Scout Leader

DVESU (Didsbury Viking explorer scout unit)


Currently we have 15 members invested in the unit, with 2 more moving on from 2/88th Manchester

Scouts. Regular attendance varies from 6-12 per week, with 9 being the average.

The unit continues to link with local Scout Troops, and it is envisaged that we will be participating in some joint activities over the coming year.


Since last year, we have recruited 2 new Assistant Explorer Scout Leaders, who have both successfully completed the appointments process and getting started modules. Emily continues in her role as Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, and Will continues in his role as Explorer Scout Leader, though as last year, he has taken a step back due to his other engagements. Matt, one of the new recruits, has already stepped up as Explorer Scout Leader. Rolando, the Cub Scout Leader, who often assisted with the administration and general day-to-day running of the unit, has now taken a step back from Explorers so that he can give the Cub section more of his time.

Top Awards

Four Explorer Scouts went to Holland for 10 days in August as their Explorer Belt expedition.

We have awarded 2 Chief Scout Platinum Awards, with several Explorer Scouts very close to completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award who have also been working on the extra requirements for their Chief Scout Platinum Awards. We have some Explorer Scouts working on their Chief Scout Diamond Awards, with 1 very close to completion. Some have also started on the requirements for their Queen’s Scout Award.

Several members have now enrolled to do their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with our unit, allowing us to provide more training for their expedition. Recently we have ran a session on Navigator Stage 2, and the Explorers are keen to plan some 5km hikes which we’ll organise to take them up to the next stage. We’re also looking to programme in Emergency Aid Stage 3 and take a trip to Go Outdoors next term. Our unit is taking the lead in the planning of a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award / Queen’s Scout Award practice & assessed expedition in the coming months, for 2 of our members, plus 2 members from elsewhere in the County. This is due to the fantastic levels of commitment from our Explorers and their passion for achievement but is also due to the support of permit holders in the group for being able to facilitate their plans.


Our young people are progressing through several badges, which have been recently awarded. Our members have varied interests outside of Scouting, and we are recognising their achievements. A total of 32 Activity & Staged Activity Badges were presented over the last year, as well as 9 Joining In Badges. Programme planning has been directed to focus on working towards various top award & badge requirements, whilst at the same time still being fun & enjoyable for everyone. Explorers take responsibility for specific areas of their own programme, working in partnership with Leaders to deliver a range of activities.

Young Leaders

Most of our Explorer Scouts are also Young Leaders, and we currently have members placed with 23rd Manchester Beavers, 2/88th Manchester Cubs, 2/241st Manchester Beavers & 435th Manchester Cubs. In addition to supporting the weekly section meetings, our Young Leaders also play vital roles at section/group, district and county events such as camps, allowing them to work on different aspects of their leadership skills and encouraging them to think about their role in a variety of settings. Most Young Leaders have started to work on their Missions, with many being close to, or having completed Missions 1, 2 and/or 3. Our older members have also started planning for Mission 4, which they are hoping to deliver this term. 2 Mission Strips were awarded over the last 12 months, and all our Young Leaders have their Modules badge for completing Module A; all our Young Leaders have also completed  Modules B – J, and some have also completed Module K.

Nights Away

The unit continues to attend most nights away opportunities provided at District or County level, such as Winter Camp, Young Leaders Camp and Gilwell24. The Explorers discovered The Dragon Award, administered by Scouts Wales, and we are starting to work towards planning Nights Away outdoors in every calendar month. In addition, several Explorers wish to do their Camper and/or Chef badges, and so we hope to become more active as a Unit with more

opportunities for outdoors nights away, hikes & adventures.

Matt Dinnery
Explorer scout leader